Children with health needs who cannot attend Policy
Co-op Academy Belle Vue
Children with Health needs who cannot
attend school policy
Approval by Governors: 30th January 2023
Date to be Reviewed: 30th January 2024
This policy aims to ensure that:
● Suitable education is arranged for any student on roll who cannot attend school due to health needs;
● Students, staff and parents understand what the school is responsible for when this education is being provided by the local authority.
Co-op Academy Belle Vue aims to ensure that all children who are unable to attend school due to medical needs, and who would not receive suitable education without such provision, continue to have access to as much education as their medical condition allows, to enable them to reach their full potential.
Due to the nature of their health needs, some children may be admitted to hospital or placed in alternative forms of education provision. We recognise that, whenever possible, students should receive their education within their school and the aim of the provision will be to reintegrate students back into school as soon as they are well enough.
We understand that we have a continuing role in a student's education whilst they are not in school and will work with Salford Local Authority, healthcare partners and families to ensure that all children with medical needs receive the right level of support to enable them to maintain links with their education.
Legislation and Guidance
This policy has due regard to all relevant legislation and statutory guidance including, but not limited to, the following:
● Education Act 1996
● Equality Act 2010
● Data Protection Act 2018
● DfE (2013) 'Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs'
● DfE (2015) 'Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions'.
Responsibilities of the academy
If the school makes arrangements
Initially, the school will attempt to make arrangements to deliver suitable education for children with health needs who cannot attend school. The Headteacher and SENDCO/DSL will be responsible for making and monitoring these arrangements.
A meeting will be made with parents/carers to discuss arrangements for working from home or hospital. A plan will be drawn up detailing agreed actions from the discussion, the plan will be signed by the academy and parents/carers. The plan will then be carried out to deliver education to the child. The attendance team will conduct home visits throughout.
Arrangements could include sending work home or attending a hospital school. Work will be prepared by class teachers.
The student will be slowly integrated back into school with either alternative arrangements to make it possible such as alternative spaces for break or lunch times or the student may come back into school on a reduced timetable until their health needs have been met.
If the Local Authority makes arrangements
If the school can’t make suitable arrangements, Salford Local Authority will become responsible for arranging suitable education for these children.
The LA should:
● Provide such education as soon as it is clear that a student will be away from school for 15 days or more, whether consecutive or cumulative. They should liaise with the appropriate medical professionals to ensure minimal delay in arranging appropriate provision for the student. Ensure the education students receive is of good quality, allows them to take appropriate qualifications, prevents them from falling behind their peers in school, and allows them to reintegrate successfully back into school as soon as possible.
● Address the needs of individual pupils in arranging provision.
● Have a named officer responsible for the education of children with additional health needs and ensure parents know who this is.
● Have a written, publicly accessible policy statement on their arrangements to comply with their legal duty towards children with additional health needs.
● Review the provision offered regularly to ensure that it continues to be appropriate for the child and that it is providing suitable education.
● Give clear policies on the provision of education for children and young people under and over compulsory school age.
The LA should not:
Have processes or policies in place which prevent a child from getting the right type of provision and a good education.
● Withhold or reduce the provision, or type of provision, for a child because of how much it will cost.
● Have policies based upon the percentage of time a child is able to attend school rather than whether the child is receiving a suitable education during that attendance.
● Have lists of health conditions which dictate whether or not they will arrange education for children or inflexible policies which result in children going without suitable full-time education (or as much education as their health condition allows them to participate in).
In cases where the local authority makes arrangements, the school will:
● Work constructively with the local authority, providers, relevant agencies and parents to ensure the best outcomes for the student;
● Share information with the local authority and relevant health services as required;
● Help make sure that the provision offered to the student is as effective as possible and that the child can be reintegrated back into school successfully.
When reintegration is anticipated, work with the local authority to:
● Plan for consistent provision during and after the period of education outside the school, allowing the student to access the same curriculum and materials that they would have used in school as far as possible;
● Enable the student to stay in touch with school life (e.g. through newsletters, emails, invitations to school events or internet links to lessons from their school);
● Create individually tailored reintegration plans for each child returning to school; ● Consider whether any reasonable adjustments need to be made.
The Governing Board and Headteacher are responsible for:
● Ensuring arrangements for students who cannot attend school as a result of their medical needs are in place and are effectively implemented.
● Ensuring the termly review of the arrangements made for students who cannot attend school due to their medical needs.
● Ensuring the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the arrangements to support the needs of students are clear and understood by all.
● Ensuring robust systems are in place for dealing with health emergencies and critical incidents, for both on and off-site activities.
● Ensuring staff with responsibility for supporting students with health needs are appropriately trained.
● Appointing a named member of staff who is responsible for students with healthcare needs and liaises with parents, students, the Local Authority, key workers and others involved in the student's care.
● Providing teachers who support students with health needs with suitable information relating to a student's health condition and the possible effect the condition and/or medication taken has on the student.
● Notifying the Local Authority when a student is likely to be away from the school for a significant period of time due to their health needs.
The SENDCo is responsible for:
● Dealing with students who are unable to attend school because of medical needs. ● Actively monitoring pupil progress and reintegration into school.
● Supplying students' education providers with information about the child's capabilities, progress and outcomes.
● Liaising with the Headteacher, education providers and parents to determine students' programmes of study whilst they are absent from school.
● The Family Partnership Worker will provide a link between students and their parents, and the Local Authority.
Teachers and Support Staff are responsible for:
● Understanding confidentiality in respect of students' health needs.
● Designing lessons and activities in a way that allows those with health needs to participate fully and ensuring students are not excluded from activities that they wish to take part in without a clear evidence-based reason.
● Understanding their role in supporting students with health needs and ensuring they attend the required training.
● Ensuring they are aware of the needs of their students through the appropriate and lawful sharing of the individual student's health needs.
● Ensuring they are aware of the signs, symptoms and triggers of common life threatening medical conditions and know what to do in an emergency. Keeping parents informed of how their child's health needs are affecting them whilst in the school.
● Parents are advised to contact the school on the first day their child is unable to attend due to illness.
● Absences due to illness will be authorised unless the school has genuine cause for concern about the authenticity of the illness.
● The school will provide support to students who are absent from school because of illness for a period of less than 15 school days by liaising with the student's parents to arrange schoolwork as soon as the student is able to cope with it or part-time education at school. The school will give due consideration to which aspects of the curriculum are prioritised in consultation with the student, their family and relevant members of staff.
● For periods of absence that are expected to last for 15 or more school days, either in one absence or over the course of a school year, the named person with responsibility for students with health needs (Family Partnership Worker) will notify the Local Authority, who will take responsibility for the student and their education.
● Where absences are anticipated or known in advance, the school will liaise with the Local Authority to enable education provision to be provided from the start of the student's absence.
● For hospital admissions, the appointed named member of staff will liaise with the Local
Authority regarding the programme that should be followed while the student is in hospital.
● The Local Authority will set up a personal education plan (PEP) for the student which will allow the school, the Local Authority and the provider of the student's education together.
● The school will monitor student attendance and mark registers to ensure it is clear whether a student is, or should be, receiving education otherwise than at school.
● The school will only remove a student who is unable to attend school because of additional health needs from the school roll where:
○ The student has been certified by the school's medical officer as unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school, before ceasing to be of compulsory school age; and ○ Neither the pupil nor their parent has indicated to the school the intention to continue to attend the school, after ceasing to be of compulsory school age.
● A student unable to attend school because of their health needs will not be removed from the school register without parental consent and certification from the school's medical officer, even if the Local Authority has become responsible for the student's education.
Support for students
● Where a student has a complex or long-term health issue, the school will discuss the student's needs and how these may be best met with the Local Authority, relevant medical professionals, parents and, where appropriate, the student.
● The Local Authority expects the school to support students with health needs to attend full time education wherever possible, or for the school to make reasonable adjustments to student' programmes of study where medical evidence supports the need for those adjustments.
● The school will make reasonable adjustments under students' individual healthcare plans (IHCPs).
● Students admitted to hospital will receive education as determined appropriate by the medical professionals and hospital tuition team at the hospital concerned.
● During a period of absence, the school will work with the provider of the student's education to establish and maintain regular communication and effective outcomes.
● Whilst a student is away from school, the school will work with the Local Authority to ensure the student can successfully remain in touch with their school using the following methods: newsletters, emails, invitations to school events, cards or letters from peers and staff.
● Where appropriate, the school will provide the student's education provider with relevant information, curriculum materials and resources.
● To help ensure a student with additional health needs is able to attend school following an extended period of absence, the following adaptations will be considered: ○ A personalised or part-time timetable, drafted in consultation with the named staff member; ○ Access to additional support in school;
○ Online access to the curriculum from home;
○ Movement of lessons to more accessible rooms;
○ Places to rest at school;
○ Special exam arrangements to manage anxiety or fatigue.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the SENDCo. At every review, it will be approved by the full governing board.
Any changes in the policy will be clearly communicated to all members of staff involved in supporting students with additional health needs, and to parents and pupils themselves.
Children who are unable to attend school as a result of their medical needs may include those with:
● Physical health issues.
● Physical injuries.
● Mental health problems, including anxiety issues.
● Emotional difficulties or school refusal.
● Progressive conditions.
● Terminal illnesses
Children who are unable to attend mainstream education for health reasons may attend any of the following:
● Hospital school: a special school within a hospital setting where education is provided to give continuity whilst the child is receiving treatment
● Home tuition: many Local Authorities have home tuition services that act as a communication channel between schools and students on occasions
● Where students are too ill to attend school and are receiving specialist medical treatment
- Medical PRUs: these are Local Authority establishments that provide education for children unable to attend their registered school due to their medical needs.